Google launched the third version of its reCAPTCHA program that sets apart humans and bots when they land on websites, with the promise of eliminating user interaction.
The reCAPTCHA verification program has been causing a lot of discomfort to too many users for far too long. The first version challenged users to type in warped text to prove their human condition.
The second variant was better in that it gave website visitors about a 50% chance to pass with a single click; the opposite situation had them pick images with bicycles, crosswalks, or buses to show they are not bots.
"reCAPTCHA v3 runs adaptive risk analysis in the background to alert you of suspicious traffic while letting your human users enjoy a frictionless experience," reads Google's announcement.
The secret weapon for appeasing users is a concept called 'Action,' which allows observing the behavior of website visitors and distinguishing automated reactions more accurately.
The recommendation is to enable reCAPTCHA v3 on multiple pages to build a larger pool of patterns that can be correlated to human interaction. Patterns receive scores from 0.1 to 1 to determine how suspicious they are.
Admins can use the scorecards to decide the threshold for letting users through or subjecting them to further checking, like two-factor authentication or phone verification.
The input collected this way can also contribute to training machine learning algorithms fight abusive actions, and it can be combined with other signals admins have available to protect their assets from bots.
Website administrators have had more than a year to test the new service and fine-tune the evaluation criteria for the benefit of the users, and decide how their website should react to bots.
Below there is a short video presentation that explains in simple terms how the reCAPTCHA v3 works. Full documentation about the service is available here.